AI-Based Digital Assistants: Opportunities, Threats, and Research Perspectives.
Mädche Alexander, Legner Christine, Benlian Alexander, Berger Benedikt, Gimpel Henner, Hess Thomas, Hinz Oliver, Morana Stefan, Söllner Matthias
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming omnipresent; it permeates our work and private lives in many areas. A key area of application is AI-based digital assistants, which are now becoming available in large numbers and a wide variety of usage scenarios. Research into AI-based digital assistants has a long history, dating back to Joseph Weizenbaum’s well-known ELIZA in 1966. In parallel, global technology companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Amazon have been working intensively for decades on advancing AI-based digital assistants and have recently made them suitable for the mass market. Empowered by recent advances in AI, these assistants are becoming part of our daily lives. We are observing the ever-growing usage of various digital assistants, for instance, voice-based assistants such as Amazon Alexa, or text-based assistants (chatbots), such as those embedded in Facebook Messenger. It is foreseen that AI-based digital assistants will become a key element in the future of work.Today’s enterprise communication platforms such as Slack or Microsoft Teams already provide many different bot types to augment work, andGartner (2019) predicts that by 2021, one-quarter of all digital workers will use a virtual employee assistant daily.